Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

Is It Time To Let Go?
by Teresia Smith

I saw this quote the other day and found it interesting. “I used to think the worst thing in the world was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.” You may be in a relationship, hoping one day the other person will love you as much as you love them. Often, those in unhealthy relationships are hurt repeatedly but hang on thinking the abuser will change. Or they are caught up in their dream of what the relationship could be and are not willing to see what it truly is. Most of the scars on people’s hearts weren’t left there by strangers or their enemies; they were left there by the people who claimed to love them the most. You may think holding on is you being brave; however, letting go and moving forward takes more courage and will actually make you stronger – give you a more fulfilling life.

How do you know you need to end an unhealthy relationship? Here are 10 signs listed by Marc Chernoff to help you determine if it’s time:

1. Someone expects you to be someone you’re not. – Don’t change who you are for anyone. It’s wiser to lose someone over being who you are than to keep them by being someone you’re not. It’s easier to mend a broken heart than it is to piece together a shattered identity. It’s easier to fill an empty space in your life than to fill the empty space inside where YOU used to be.

2. A person’s actions don’t match their words. – Everybody deserves somebody who helps them look forward to tomorrow. If someone has the opposite effect on you because their actions don’t match up with their words, it’s time to let them go. Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.

3. You catch yourself forcing someone to love you. – Let us keep in mind that we can’t force anyone to love us. We shouldn’t beg someone to stay when they want to leave. That’s what love is all about – freedom. If someone truly loves you, they will never give you a reason to doubt it. Anyone can come into your life and say how much they love you, but it takes someone special to stay in your life and prove how much they love you.

4. Your intimate relationship is based strictly on physical attraction. – Being beautiful is more than how many people you can get to look at you; it’s about the depth of your heart and what makes you unique. It’s about being who you are and living honestly. It’s about those little quirks that make you, you. People who are only attracted to you because of your pretty face or nice body won’t stay by your side forever.

5. Someone continuously breaks your trust. – Love means giving someone the chance to hurt you, but trusting them not to. Either you confirm the fact that this person cares about you, or you get the opportunity to weed them out of your life and make room for those who do. In the end you’ll discover who’s fake and who’s true.

6. Someone continuously overlooks your worth. – Know your worth! When you give yourself to someone who doesn’t respect you, you surrender pieces of your soul that you’ll never get back. There comes a point when you have to let go and stop chasing some people. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll find a way to put you there. Sometimes you just need to let go and accept the fact that they don’t care for you the way you care for them. Let them leave your life quietly. Letting go is oftentimes easier than holding on. We think it’s too hard to let go, until we actually do. Then we ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

7. You are never given a chance to speak your mind. –Speak up for your heart so that you won’t have regrets. Life is not about making others happy. Life is about being honest with yourself.

8. You are frequently forced to sacrifice your happiness. – If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative before you know it. Know when to close the account. It’s always better to be alone with dignity than in a relationship that constantly requires you to sacrifice your happiness and self-respect.

9. You truly dislike your current situation.– The best thing you can do in life is follow your heart. Don’t just make the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what might happen. If you do, nothing will ever happen. Chances must be taken, mistakes must be made, and lessons must be learned.

10. You catch yourself obsessing over, and living in, the past. – Eventually you will overcome the heartache, and forget the reasons you cried, and who caused the pain. Eventually you will realize that the secret to happiness and freedom is not about control or revenge, but in moving forward, learning from your experiences over the course of time. After all, what matters most is not the first, but the final chapter of your life, which unveils the details of how well you wrote your story. So let go of the past, set yourself free, and open your mind to the possibility of new relationships and priceless experiences.

The one thing you should never let go of is hope. Hope keeps our dreams alive. Remember that you deserve a loving and healthy relationship and do not settle for less. Someday all the pieces of life’s puzzle will come together, probably in ways you never dreamed. Your life will be full of great things and even if everything doesn’t turn out exactly the way you had anticipated, you will look back at the times that have passed, smile, and ask yourself, “How did I get through all of that?” And you will be reminded of your strength.

If you are in an unhealthy relationship and would like to talk to an advocate about intimate partner violence, or if you have experienced sexual assault and would like to an advocate about services, please contact our office at 256.574.5826 to make an appointment. We also have a 24/7 HELPline where you can speak with trained crisis counselors. You are not alone.

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